Special report: Purchasing committees place medical devices on trial

by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | October 15, 2012
From the October 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“We have worked diligently to create a process that involves a multi-disciplinary team to assist in the review of products and devices,” says Clayton. “We conduct thorough research and evaluations that assist in determining if a product or equipment meets our needs.”

Ongoing challenges and limitations
Despite these efforts and advances, a 2005 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed some serious limitations in the selection process at the several sites. There is still a need for a more formal method of incorporating patient safety considerations into the medical device purchasing process, the report concludes.

At the final hurdle of the decision-making process, the committee —usually comprised of physicians, specialists, the chief medical officer, the CFO and an IT director — takes a vote. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much time and effort was spent during the product evaluation, stepping on toes can be unavoidable, according to Griffin.

“We try to take everyone’s comments into consideration during the decision making process,” Griffin says. “However, in the end, we take what the majority of people say and use that. Unfortunately, you can’t always make everyone happy.”

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